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Published July 15, 2008
Volume 16, Number 7


Byers Engineering Provides Specialized Expertise to Telecom and Utility Companies   
Former Randstad Subsidiary Off to a Solid Start After April, 2007 Acquisition



Gary Olson, left, and Gerry Ahlbach head up Byers Engineering’s
Hacienda offices.


By Nicole Zaro Stahl
Special to NETWORK


Byers Engineering Co. (BEC) is a relatively new name in Hacienda, although many of its employees have been working out of the company’s facility at 4637 Chabot Drive for several years. In April 2007 the Atlanta-headquartered Byers acquired the office’s previous occupant, Randstad Communications, a California-based utility technical services subsidiary of Randstad North America, adding to the engineering firm’s existing resources and giving it a truly national footprint.

The transition went smoothly, with former Randstadt employees Gary Olson and  Gerry Ahlbach moving into their respective new roles as vice president, West Support, and vice president, West Operations, without missing a beat.

Privately held BEC has been providing technical services and software products since 1971. According to Tim Parker, president of the company’s Engineering Division, most of the activity at the Pleasanton site focuses on the telecommunications and utilities industries. “Our business is project engineering. We set up special projects for our clients and run them out of our offices. We also put engineers on premises to fill gaps when our clients have peaks and valleys in their workflow.”

As the hub of the company’s western region, the Pleasanton office houses approximately 15 people, a number that “ebbs and flows,” says Parker, adding, “we have another 495 employees deployed throughout the state and the Midwest on assignments.”

Byers’ long history of work in the telecommunications industry is a sought-after area of expertise. “It’s pretty much of a niche market,” surpassing the knowledge base of most civil engineering graduates, he points out. “Few colleges or universities in the country offer any type of degree in telecommunications, so we rely on people who have come up through the industry. They have to be ready to go the first day on the job. Our clients come to us when they have a peak and need immediate help. There is no time for training.”

Explaining some of the complexities, he observes, “The difference in telecommunications is that every house needs a pair of copper wire to send and receive signals. The trick is keeping those wires straight. Each has an individual identity. If there are three million customers, that means three million individual numbers that must be kept up and maintained.”

Looking at the challenges facing the telecommunications industry, Parker cites new technology as a major issue. “Phone and cable companies, and in some cases even power companies, all want to provide the ‘triple play’—bringing wireless, video, and data to the home. The industry is looking to find that one best technology, but it’s a gamble and there’s a big question mark about how much to spend. Our challenge is keeping up with this direction, and finding people to handle what our telecom clients need next.”

For more information about Byers, call the local office at (925) 226-4100 or visit www.byers.com.
 
 

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